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Achilles assassinating Pompey
Native name
Died47 BC
Alexandria, Egypt
Allegiance Egypt
Battles/warsCaesar's Civil War
Second Siege of Alexandria 

Achillas (Greek: Ἀχιλλᾶς; died 47 BC) was one of the guardians of the Egyptian king Ptolemy XIII Theos Philopator, and commander of the king's troops, when Pompey fled to Egypt in September 48 BC. He was called by Julius Caesar a man of extraordinary daring, and it was he and Lucius Septimius who killed Pompey at the suggestion of the eunuch Pothinus and Theodotus of Chios.[1][2][3]

Achillas subsequently joined Pothinus in resisting Caesar, and having had the command of the whole army entrusted to him by Pothinus, he marched against Alexandria with 20,000 infantry and 2,000 cavalry.[4] Caesar, who was at Alexandria, did not have sufficient forces to oppose him, and sent ambassadors to negotiate with him. However, Achillas murdered the ambassadors to remove all hopes of reconciliation. He then marched into Alexandria and some of the city. Meanwhile, Arsinoe, the younger sister of Ptolemy, escaped from Caesar and joined Achillas. However, in 47 BC, dissension broke out between them, so Arsinoe had Achillas put to death by Ganymedes, a eunuch to whom she then entrusted the command of the forces.[5][6][7][8]

Depiction in drama[edit]


  1. ^ Julius Caesar, Commentarii de Bello Civili iii. 104
  2. ^ Livy, Epit. 104
  3. ^ Cassius Dio xlii. 4
  4. ^ Smith, William (1867), "Achillas", in Smith, William (ed.), Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. 1, Boston, MA, p. 9, archived from the original on 2014-12-03, retrieved 2007-10-01{{citation}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  5. ^ Julius Caesar, Commentarii de Bello Civili iii. 108—112
  6. ^ B. Alex. 4
  7. ^ Cassius Dio xlii. 36—40
  8. ^ Lucan x. 519— 523
  9. ^ "Metropolitan Opera's Giulio Cesare - 2013 season".

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William, ed. (1870). "Achillas". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.